Monday 8 June 2009

“I can see Galway now, the race has gone, all of those pretty flowers will disappear...."

“And nowwwww the end is neeeeear, the race yachts faaace the final keel turn.....”
No, that’s not it. Too punny and painful.
How about
“I can see Galway now, the race has gone,
All of those pretty flowers will disappear.
There’ll dog poo again upon the Prom,
Gonna be a dry wet grey Galway-ay day...”:
I love Galway and I love living in Galway, but thanks to those who run the place, I feel a bit like a student living in a hovel with the parents coming round for Sunday dinner.
Cripes, we’d better clean this bloomin’ mess. Quick, shove some plants into the roundabouts! Throw a lick o’paint over that wall! After the race, sure, we can flog the flowers and yeh, I know that paint won’t last and that old mouldy damp will soon show through, but sure feckit, it’s called whitewash for a reason.
I’m house proud, but there’s no point in my home only looking good when I’ve got poshies over for tea. I want it to look its best all the time, ‘cos I live there. Yet somehow, in their efforts to spruce up the city with hanging baskets, arty murals and the annual ceremonial relaying of the cobbles on Quay Street, those who seek to make Galway look great manage to make us Galwegians feel generally a bit crap.
If they can make it look fab and clean and fun for 2 weeks, why can’t they make it look at least half as good for the other 50?
Don’t Galwegians deserve that? As they say where I come from: ‘What are we? Chopped liver?’
Mind you, 5 million wooden planters aside, we won’t be able to see our city until all those photographic facial avenues of power-seeking underachievers are taken down.
Some of the nicest people I know are politicians.
Well one of them is.
Poopers, I was trying to say something touchy-feely about our elected representatives, but I just couldn’t, because essentially they all seek power, and beyond Coco Pops and cluster bombs, I can think of no more abhorrent product.
I am very grateful for my right to vote, but what purpose does it serve if there is no reason to use it?
The MP’s expenses scandal in England has shown once again that corruption knows no political boundaries. Left and Right were all at it, while here all the political parties habitually fail to convince us that they truly give a damn.
If only we had the right to vote for None Of The Above, as they do in Ukraine, Spain, France and Colombia. Then we could really show those pompous politicos exactly what we think of them.
Imagine: the Irish vote in a massive majority for None Of The Above, and force all the political parties to go back to their think tanks and drawing boards and country estates and tax-free havens and come up with a better idea or five, because all of a sudden they’re facing a worthy and powerful opponent: active democratic dissent.
“How dare you!”, they will cry. “How dare you make us work so hard to come up with new ideas? Why should we have to do this all over again?”
To which we, the downtrodden masses with blissful grins on our collective faces will reply,
“Oh poor diddums. Did ickle wickle wannabe leaders forget how you told us that you didn’t like our vote on the Nice Treaty? Didn’t you tell us to go back home and have a good think and come back and vote the way you wanted us to vote in the first place? Didn’t we know you were never going to give up until we employed our democratic liberties to do exactly what you instructed? And aren't you about to ignore the way we voted for the Lisbon Treaty and ask us to go back home and have a good think and come back and this time bloody well behave ourselves and vote the way we were told the first time?
So with this majority for None Of The Above we have a mandate to send you home and come up with some morally sound compassionate policies that won’t force us to choose between a geriatric’s hospital bed or a mile of motorway.
And while we’re on the the subjects of motorways, which we weren’t at all, I have a proposition to make.
There’s a roundabout just beyond the Dublin Road/Oranmore roundabout, on the way to Clarinbridge.
It’s a small perfectly formed roundabout, yet it lacks a certain something. Built at the tipping point of the boom, it was meant to offer an entrance to an estate that will now most likely never be built.
It is a dead roundabout. It is not sleeping, nor pining for the fjords. This roundabout is going nowhere and it desperately needs a function in life, beyond just slowing down the traffic a bit and confusing tourists.
Out in Recess, on the Galway/Clifden Road, a monument declares that ‘On this site nothing happened’.
Well hell, we can beat that.
This colyoom suggests that we formally name our pointless roundabout the ‘Dead Tiger Roundabout’, and pile high upon it twisted ‘00’ car number plates and smashed-up Estate Agents ‘Sold!’ signs.
It will serve as a national monument to greed, lucre and hubris, until a far-distant future when the High Kings return and proceed to build giant grassy burial tombs on all the major roundabouts in the country, despite outcry from radical extremist civil engineers who will camp out, sit in and beat protest rhythms in clipboard circles through the night, and fight against what they see as the abominable and hateful greening of Ireland, and the mindless destruction of its ancient motorway network.
Galway is meant to be Ireland's capital of Arts and Culture, with capital As and Cs, so let’s get down with our interactive circular installation. Let’s turn our impotent roundabout into a living breathing (it’s got grass, ain’t it?) meaningful sculpture.
Eat your shark’s heart out, Damien. Suck our sheets, Tracey baby.
Interactive? I should coco. You can drive around it, can’t you?
What use is a roundabout that goes nowhere? As much use as a vote for someone you don’t want to win. Fight for the right to elect None Of The Above. As the Anarchists say: “Whoever you vote for, the government gets in.”

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